Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic

Your 2006 W.V. Power

Mass Haas

We believe this to be accurate, barring a late change -- I'll include ages as of April 1st in parentheses after each name:


Look for the starting rotation to include some tandem situations, although LHP Derek Miller (24) and RHP Kevin Roberts (21) will be given more rope to work with in their starts. Look for RHP's Will Inman (19), Ronny Malave (20), Robbie Wooley (21), David Welch (22), and Ryan Marion (21), and LHP Rafael Lluberes (21) to work in piggy-back tandems, at least early in the season.


Other pitchers include RHP's Steve Palazzolo (24), Dane Renkert (24), Wilfredo Laureano (22), and Patrick Ryan (22) and LHP Brandon Parillo (20).


Catchers will be Angel Salome (19) and Brad Willcutt (24).


Infielders will be 1B Ned Yost (23), middle infielders Ryan Crew (22), Kenny Holmberg (23), and Michael Bell (21), and corner infielders Mat Gamel (20) and Tony Festa (25).


Manning the outfield spots will be Michael Brantley (18), Darren Ford (20), Arizona Rookie League MVP Lorenzo Cain (19) and Nate Yoho (23).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 66
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Just got my new West Virginia Batting Practice garment washed-style cap -- lovin' it. Now this group of Power prospects needs to avoid another 0-7 start and another miserable performance for the fans in the new ball park, so that West Virginia management re-ups with the Crew and the cap isn't obsolete next spring.


Not sure what that blue stripe above the bill in the photo is, I don't have that...


Minor league seasons start Thursday, kids...



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I definitely am excited for Fermaint in A+, but Chapman, too? Or does he stay in Helena?


I guess Cain forced the situation. I figured him for Helena, due to his relative inexperience playing the game. He must have improved quite a bit and shown a grasp for the nuances. Or his pure talent is just too much to hold back. It was nice seeing his at bat last night, too.


Edit: And Michael Brantley will be near the top of my list of stats to check on a nightly basis. I've got a good feeling about him..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, I'll get to see these guys 3 times next week...i'm excited...but bummed that i won't be seeing fermaint..


oh well...hopefully inman starts one of my games...also excited to see salome again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




More experienced team should help Power early in season

Jacob Messer

Charleston Daily Mail sportswriter


Five of the Milwaukee Brewers' top 30 minor-league prospects will start their baseball seasons in Charleston with the West Virginia Power, according to a team roster released Sunday.


The budding stars are Will Inman, Kevin Roberts, Angel Salome, Mat Gamel and Lorenzo Cain, according to the 2006 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which rates all of the minor-league prospects for all of the Major League teams.


"It's going to be good for the talent on the field," Power General Manager Andy Milovich said. "Another thing is, the prospects are a little older than the team we had last year. That should make a difference.


"The kids who are coming up did well in the Pioneer League. The expectation is, they should be able to hit the ground running when they get here."


Inman, a 6-foot, 200-pound, right-handed pitcher, is the Brewers' No. 11 prospect and their third-best at his position.


Making his debut with the Power this season, he was 6-0 with a 2.00 earned run average in 13 starts with the Helena (Mont.) Brewers of the Pioneer League last year.


Roberts, a 6-0, 190-pound, right-handed pitcher, is the Brewers' No. 29 prospect and their seventh-best at his position.


Returning for his second stint with the Power, Roberts was 2-2 with a 4.94 ERA in nine starts here last year. He also was 1-2 with a 2.82 ERA in eight starts with Helena last year.


Salome, a 5-7, 190-pound catcher, is the Brewers' No. 21 prospect and their second-best at his position.


Also returning for his second stint with the Power, Salome hit .254 with four homers, seven doubles and 21 RBI in 29 games last year. He also hit .415 in 37 games with Helena, earning the league's most valuable player honors.


Gamel, a 6-0, 205-pound third baseman, is the Brewers' No. 26 prospect and their third-best at his position.


Also returning for his second stint with the Power, Gamel hit .174 with one homer in eight games last year. He also hit .32 with Helena last year.


Cain, a 6-2, 165-pound left fielder, is the Brewers' No. 27 prospect and their third-best at his position.


Also making his debut with the Power this season, Cain hit .356 with five homers and 37 RBI with the Arizona Brewers of the Arizona League last year.


The Power also has four of the Brewers' top 10 2005 draft picks: Inman (third round), Gamel (fourth round), Roberts (fifth round) and center fielder Michael Brantley (seventh round).


The Power plays an exhibition game against Shawnee State on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. and opens its season against Delmarva on Thursday. Both games will begin at 7:05 p.m. at Appalachian Power Park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




More pop for Power?

Numbers suggest West Virginia offense will improve

By Mike Whiteford

Charleston Gazette Staff writer


A good part of Mike Lum?s offseason was spent doing research on the Internet.


After learning he would spend the baseball season in Charleston as the West Virginia Power?s new hitting instructor, Lum checked out Google images and saw striking photos of the Capitol and other landmarks.


?I looked at all the pictures and tried to get familiar with the city,?? Lum said Tuesday afternoon at Appalachian Power Park, ?because I knew I was going to be here all summer. I was very impressed. I?m looking forward to it.??


He also explored the Internet for Charleston-area golf courses. During the summer, he likes to arise early, tee off at 7 a.m. and still be at the ballpark at 12:30 p.m., giving him plenty of time to prepare for night games.


On Tuesday afternoon ? his first full day in West Virginia ? Lum met with his players, worked with them in their first batting-practice session at Appalachian Power Park and asked the locals about restaurants. Later in the day, he planned to move into his new South Ruffner apartment, which he hopes will offer a view of the Capitol.


Now that he?s learned a new city, Lum is learning a new lineup of hitters and will share with them the knowledge he accumulated in 15 seasons as a major-league hitter with the Braves and Reds and another 15 seasons as the White Sox organizational hitting instructor.


It?s a Power lineup that?s almost totally different from the one that played here last year. All the evidence suggests the offense will be livelier, make more consistent contact and, most important, score more runs.


After all, the 2005 Power scored the fewest runs in the 16-team South Atlantic League, ranked 15th in homers and dead last in slugging percentage and on-base percentage.


?This is a very mature bunch of kids,?? said Lum, ?and they know how to go about the game.??


The bulk of this season?s Power lineup played last year at Helena (Mont.), which won both the first-half and second-half championships of the Pioneer League and, among other things, produced a nice assortment of .300 hitters.


Second baseman Kenny Holmberg of Dunedin, Fla., led the league in on-base and slugging percentage at .450 and .526, respectively, and batted .372. He also hit 12 home runs and collected 51 RBIs in 59 games.


Holmberg admits, however, that the Pioneer League lends itself to hitting and that he and his teammates will need to make an adjustment this year.


?The hitting might not be there early,?? said Holmberg, ?but it?ll be there in the long run. We?ve got a bunch of guys who can scrap and a bunch of guys who can drive the ball and run the bases.??


Other Helena hitters assigned to the Power this year are shortstop Ryan Crew (.346), third baseman Mat Gamel (327), first baseman Ned Yost (.302) and center fielder Darren Ford (.271). Catcher Angel Salome, who split the season between Helena and the Power, batted .415 in 37 games at Helena. Left fielder Michael Brantley batted .347 for the Brewers rookie team in the Arizona League and .324 in 10 games at Helena.


Right fielder Lorenzo Cain spent most of the season in the Arizona League and earned MVP honors with a .356 average and 37 RBIs in 50 games.


Manager Mike Guerrero, who managed the Brewers? team in the Arizona League last season, liked what he saw in spring training. He?ll learn more in the coming months.


?They?re a good bunch of kids,?? said Guerrero. ?I?m really high on the talent we have. It?s going to be interesting. We?re going to see how mentally tough they are. We?re going to see how prepared they are.??


BRIEFLY: The Power will open its second season as Milwaukee?s South Atlantic League affiliate beginning at 7:05 p.m. Thursday (6:05 Central) against Delmarva at Appalachian Power Park. The Power will play 7:05 games against the Shorebirds Friday and Saturday and conclude the homestand with a 2:05 game Sunday. ... The Power defeated Shawnee State 9-1 in an exhibition game Tuesday night at Appalachian Power Park. The first five hitters in the lineup ? Ford, Holmberg, Cain, Gamel and Salome ? had two hits apiece, with Gamel and Salome smacking home runs. Lum ranks 11th in major league history with 103 pinch hits. He spent three seasons, 1976 through 1978, with the Reds during the Big Red Machine era. He was also a teammate of Hank Aaron. ... Yost is the son of Brewers manager Ned Yost.


Power?s projected batting order


Player Ht. Wt. 2005 numbers


1. Darren Ford, cf 6-1 195 .271, 18-22 steals at Helena


2. Kenny Holmberg, 2b 5-9 175 .372, .450 OBP at Helena


3. Lorenzo Cain, rf 6-2 170 MVP of Arizona League


4. Matt Gamel, 3b 6-0 205 .327 at Helena


5. Angel Salome, c 5-7 190 .415 in 37 games at Helena


6. Ryan Crew, ss 6-0 175 .346 at Helena


7. Tony Festa, DH 6-2 200 .287 for three teams


8. Ned Yost, 1b 6-2 195 .302 at Helena


9. Michael Brantley, lf l6-2 180 .343 for two teams


Kevin Roberts, p 6-0 190 3.99 ERA Helena and Power




Power second baseman Kenny Holmberg (left) makes a force out on Shawnee State?s Zac Shoaf during an exhibition game Tuesday night at Appalachian Power Park.

Charleston Gazette Photographer: M.K. McFarland

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Power ready to surge

Jacob Messer

Charleston Daily Mail sportswriter


Angel Salome likely wishes all of his at-bats could be his first.


In his first at-bat at Appalachian Power Park this spring, Salome hit a two-run homer for the West Virginia Power in the first inning of its 9-1 win over Shawnee State University on Tuesday in an exhibition game.


Call it deja vu all over again.


The 19-year-old Salome, a 5-foot-7, 190-pound catcher, made an instant impact and began a fan favorite as soon as he joined the Power last year, collecting his first two homers in his first two days.


He smashed a solo shot in his first at-bat, then smacked a two-run, game-winning dinger the next day -- both part of an impressive debut that earned him the Topps Player of the Week award for the first week of August.


Salome (pronounced Sal-O-may) cooled off, of course, but he still hit .254 with four homers, seven doubles and 21 RBI in 29 games with the Power last year.


No wonder he has high expectations for himself this year.


"(Last season) was good," said Salome, who will hit in the No. 5 spot Thursday night when West Virginia opens its season against Delmarva in the first of a four-game homestand at Appalachian Power Park.


"I was getting used to the league (when the season ended)," he added. "Finally, I got it. Now, I recognize the league a little bit more. Hopefully, I can do better. I'm pretty excited. I know I can do a little bit better."


The Milwaukee Brewers sent five of their top 30 minor league prospects -- Salome among them -- to Charleston to start the season with the Power, their low Class A affiliate.


They also sent 11 of their draft picks from 2005.


Salome thinks the young but talented team can hold its own in the South Atlantic League.


"Player by player, you can take a look at it, we have one of the best teams in the league," Salome said. "You can imagine as a team what we can do.


"Thank God, we can do way better this year (than we did last year, when the Power finished 25-45 in the first half and 35-33 in the second half)."


The Brewers picked Salome in the fifth round two years ago, snatching him from New York City's George Washington High School -- also the alma mater of Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez.


He is their No. 21 prospect and their second-best at his position, according to the 2006 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, which rates all of the minor league prospects for all of the Major League teams.


Salome hit .415 with eight homers, 17 doubles and 50 RBI in 37 games with Helena (Mont.) last year.


He earned the Pioneer League's Most Valuable Player award despite the fact that he missed the final month of its season after Milwaukee promoted him to West Virginia in July.


He hit .235 with seven doubles and eight RBI in 20 games with Milwaukee's rookie team in the Arizona League two years ago.


"I think he is a very talented kid," Power Manager Mike Guerrero said. "I think he can be a five-tool player. He can run for a catcher. He has power for a catcher. He has a cannon (for an arm). He can be a really good defensive catcher. He just needs to work at it."


Salome is looking forward to this season, one in which he can continue to improve, one in which he hopes to take another step toward the Major Leagues.


"Every swing you take, every ball you throw," Salome said, "it gives you confidence that you can do this.


"You have to learn every day. Even if you are 40 years old, you still have to learn."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will Inman is planning on starting Sat. game... http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif the Inman family will be there to cheer him on..hope you guys will come too!!! If you're not able to be there atleast you can listen on here!!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




West Virginia Power table-setters are Cain ... and able

Jack Bogaczyk

Charleston Daily Mail Sports Editor


Darren Ford said Lorenzo Cain "is already close, like my brother."


As two-thirds of the West Virginia Power's 2006 outfield, Ford and Cain display a togetherness that could unhinge South Atlantic League pitching.


They bat 1-2 in the Power lineup, Ford playing center, Cain in right. Their lockers are next to each other's in the Appalachian Power Park home clubhouse.


Both played one season of junior college baseball in Florida, were draft-and-follow picks in the June 2004 amateur selection by Milwaukee -- where Cain was picked in the 17th round, one Brewer selection in front of Ford. Both signed last spring.


Ford is 20. Cain reaches that age next Thursday.


"I've got a guy who's 6-foot-1 and probably the fastest in the league batting in front of me," Cain said. "All I have to do is put the ball in play and Darren might score. He has that kind of potential."


Ford and Cain were more than able on Opening Night for the Power. The only thing that stopped the pair at the top of the West Virginia lineup was a steady rain, which finished the Power's 4-1 victory over Delmarva in six innings.


They opened the Power's first at-bat with a Ford single and a Shorebird error by right fielder Quincy Ascencion, who no doubt realized Ford was thinking two, which he got. Cain quickly doubled him home.


Ford singled twice and struck out. Cain doubled twice off Delmarva starter David Hernandez and reached on catcher's interference. They combined to score all four West Virginia runs and had four of the seven hits.


"I call (Cain) my ?backup,' because I know if I get on, he's got a good chance to back me up with a hit," Ford said. "We're doing a lot together, but he's never batted behind me before."


The low Class A Brewers had a table-setting duo similar to Ford and Cain a year ago in infielders Hernan Iribarren and Alcides Escobar, but the Power never could find any consistent run-producers to bat in the holes behind them until No. 1 2005 draft pick Ryan Braun arrived in Charleston last July.


The RBI opportunity in the 3-4-5 spots for Mat Gamel, Angel Salome and Kenny Holmberg already was evident on Opening Night before a standing-room crowd of 5,742.


With the giant inflatable promotional toaster that sits atop the pressbox to lure drivers onto the I-77 entrance ramp, maybe the APP should be called the APPliance now.


What Power fans should be pumped up about, however, is the potential of the pair who are still deep in a Milwaukee system flush with outfielders.


"With these two, we've got plenty of speed at he top of the order," Power hitting coach Mike Lum said. "The more we get them in scoring position, the more opportunity will be there.


"Ford can take a single and make it something more.


"There's no doubt he needs to make contact better (he struck out once every 3.37 at-bats at short-season Helena last summer), and he needs to keep the ball out of the air."


Lum, a highly regarded batting instructor for almost two decades who still ranks 11th all-time on the Major League pinch-hit list, called Ford and Cain "still young hitters.


"They'll learn as they get more development," he said. "Right now, Ford is playing on natural ability ... Cain, I think he'll be able to hit for power eventually, and once both of them get more at-bats under the belts, they'll be able to make adjustments."


Cain, a 6-2, 165-pound Florida native (Tallahassee Community College), was the Arizona League's most valuable player last summer, batting .356.


Ford, fresh from Chipola Junior College and playing one level higher in the Brewer system, batted .271 at Helena.


He is regarded as the fastest player in the Milwaukee system.


Iribarren and Escobar, neither of which has Ford's speed, stole 38 and 30 bases, respectively, here last season. They hit .290 and .271, however. Ford and Cain will have to prove they can do that.


Power shortstop Ryan Crew knows what it's like to hit behind the fleet Ford. Crew batted .346 in the Arizona League in the rookie Brewers' No. 2 hole, seeing plenty of offerings to hit.


"It's the start of the season, and so you'll see a lot of fastballs," Cain said, "before people start throwing other stuff. Even after that, I guess that I'll see plenty of fastballs if pitchers are worried about (Ford) trying to steal bases.


"The first inning, with the big crowd, the noise, just got me pumped up. I played in Arizona last year; we don't have many people at games out there. Then he got on second to start it, and I said to myself, ?I'm driving it and getting him in.' "


Driving in a Ford with big wheels?


It sounds like something the Power can use to get around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Power pitcher learned from rookie league experience

By Mike Whiteford

Charleston Gazette Staff writer


Giving up home runs in such rapid succession may have been a shock to Will Inman?s psyche.


In the third inning of his Pioneer League debut in Helena (Mont.) last year, Inman surrendered four home runs and seven runs. After finally making it through the inning, he trudged into the dugout, approached pitching coach Mark Littell and offered a confession: ?I?ve got to do better than that, don?t I???


The one-inning experience taught him that the pitching approach that worked so well against high school competition in southwestern Virginia would not suffice at the professional level.


Specifically, it taught him one of professional pitching?s most fundamental lessons ? that simply throwing hard is not the answer and that a fastball thrown without an appropriate location often will be subjected to severe punishment.


To his credit, Inman bounced back, listened to his pitching coach and began pitching like a guy who was the Milwaukee Brewers? No. 2 selection in the 2005 draft. He?s now a part of the West Virginia Power rotation.


The memories of that fateful day in Helena, however, are still fresh.


?I just lost it. I wasn?t mentally prepared because in high school I didn?t get hit that hard,?? he said Friday at Appalachian Power Park. ?I was just trying to throw it by ?em. The adrenaline was going.??


The first home run caught Inman off-guard and probably led to the subsequent damage.


?Then I gave up another bomb [home run] and then a guy got a base hit and another bomb. It was just a tough inning,?? the 19-year-old recalled.


His next outing went much better ? after an initial scare when the leadoff hitter drove a long fly to left. ?I just threw my head down and said, ?Oh, no, that can?t go out.? It didn?t,?? he said.


As a high school pitcher in Dry Fork, Va., near Martinsville, Inman overwhelmed the competition with a 90-mph fastball and a rear-back-and-throw-it mentality. He set a Virginia high school record with 599 strikeouts in 252 innings and, as he recalls, allowed just ?15 or 16 runs?? in four years.


But his pitching approach changed dramatically in his first year as a professional. Littell slowed his windup, tinkered with his delivery and emphasized that each pitch must be thrown to a predetermined location.


Inman listened.


?I learned real quick that the philosophy I had in high school wasn?t as dominant as it was in high school,?? he said. ?It opened my ears to listen to what my pitching coach, Mark Littell, had to say. He taught me so much. Last year was a year I learned the most ever in my life. I never really had a pitching coach. I?m not knocking any of my high school coaches, but we didn?t have anyone who was that knowledgeable.??


Early in his senior year at Dry Fork, Inman made a commitment to pitch at Auburn University, but when the Brewers selected him as their second pick ? in the third round ? of last year?s draft and offered him a nice signing bonus, he decided to sign.


After the draft, he pitched in one game in the Arizona League and was then moved to Helena, where the 6-foot, 200-pound right-hander compiled a 6-0 record and a 2.00 earned run average. In 45 innings, he yielded just 29 hits and struck out 58.


Despite his high school success, however, he was not overwhelmed with college offers or pro interest. Part of the problem was the rural obscurity of his high school and the small-school competition he faced.


In addition, he may have worn himself out at the wrong time. In his junior year in high school, he pitched about 90 innings and then joined an American Legion team where he continued to accumulate innings.


Late in the summer before his senior year, he competed in Virginia?s Commonwealth Games, an annual showcase of high school talent that attracts pro scouts and college coaches. But by that time, an arm-weary Inman had lost about 5-mph off his fastball, prompting many of the scouts and coaches to lose interest.


?The wear and tear got to me to where I was kind of tired when I went in,?? he said.


The Brewers scouts, however, stuck with him.


Power pitching coach John Curtis worked with Inman in Instructional League last fall and discovered that he not only has the physical talent but the mental toughness necessary to succeed.


?He has an exceptional arm and he?s a competitor,?? said Curtis. ?He?ll eat nails rather than give up a hit to someone. He seems to be a pretty severe self-critic. And those are qualities you like to see in a young man."



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Where there's a Will there's a K


Danville Register & Bee sports editor


GREENSBORO, N.C. - Will Inman?s bulldog mentality on the mound helped Tunstall win back-to-back state championships and earned him a spot in the state record books with 598 career strikeouts. It also got him drafted by the Brewers in the third round last year. Now, Inman hopes it gets him to the major leagues one day.


The former Trojans? ace is 1-0 with a 2.25 earned run average and 11 strikeouts in eight innings of work this season with the West Virginia Power, the Brewers? Single A team in the South Atlantic League.


Last season, Inman went 6-0 with a 2.00 ERA in 45 innings on the mound and struck out 58 while playing for Helena, the rookie league affiliate of Brewers in the Pioneer League.


?I want to go out there and get people out,? Inman said. ?You know from high school, I don?t like to lose and I don?t like to get hit.?


His confidence could be mistaken for cockiness, but that?s Inman?s mentality. He expects to get the job done. That?s one of the high points of his makeup, according to West Virginia pitching coach John Curtis.


?He?s a competitor all right,? Curtis said. ?That?s what distinguishes him as a pitcher and that?s going to help in the years to come.?


The 19-year-old is the second-youngest player on the Power?s roster, proving that he?s slightly ahead of the curve.


?I guess they consider my to be a better arm as far as the organization goes,? Inman said while on his team?s road trip to Greensboro. ?But it?s not really about playing in the minors. The idea is not to just get to the majors, but be an all-star in the major leagues. I still have a lot of learning to do.?


Inman?s delivery is one area Curtis is trying to improve.


?We?re trying to do some things with his delivery that are a little uncomfortable for him,? Curtis said. ?We?re trying to get his arm a little higher so he can go through the ball a little better.?


The adjustment hasn?t been easy.


?It?s kind of a tough thing - it?s a deceptive thing at the plate for hitters, especially right-handers because I?m coming at them and going back across,? Inman said of his old delivery. ?At the same time, in the long run, it can lead to arm problems. So they kind of want me to get away from it. I tried that a lot in the spring and in the instructional league last fall and it?s kind of messing with my location a little bit and my movement. I?m not getting as much staying on line.?


Inman is hoping to find a compromise on the issue.


The right-hander had mixed results in his first outing of the year. He struck out six in three innings of work, but also gave up three runs - two earned - and walked two.


?It was a good outing. I wouldn?t say it was a great one,? Inman said. ?I went three innings and (threw) 70 pitches. But that?s 70 pitches. I had two walks and that?s unnecessary. If you?re a professional, you?ve got to be able to throw strikes. I had six strikeouts, but I was going too deep in the count. I was getting guys 0-2 and 1-2 and they?d foul back three or four pitches. I wasn?t getting that real good put-away pitch.


?That?s something I really need to work on, but it?s a long season. We?ve still got 135 more games left, so it?s nothing really to worry about.?


Inman likely will remain in West Virginia for the entire season.


?Our philosophy with the Brewers is the longer that a kid spends in A ball, the more he learns,? Curtis said. ?I don?t think Will, right now, is projecting to be a guy that?s going to skip through the system. Of course, a lot depends. If he reels off 13 in a row, he?s probably shown he can compete and burn up this league and needs to move up to another level.?


That doesn?t seem to bother Inman.


?I think I?m on a good track as far as how I?m moving through,? Inman said. ?I?m not going too fast. They don?t want to push me too hard or too fast. They are just looking out at my arm and my future.?


If his future is anywhere close to his past, opposing hitters should beware. Inman finished his high school career with not only the state strikeout record, but the career wins record with 42.


Although he had a full ride to play college baseball for Auburn, Inman remains pleased with his choice to turn pro.


?I feel like it was the better choice for me,? he said. ?Not that I wasn?t a big school guy, but it?s so much easier playing this game when all you have to focus on is this game. There are so many aspects that people don?t know about as far as the littlest stuff you could ever think about. Just being able to focus on it every point every single day makes you that much better. If you are in college, you?ve got to worry about the field as much as you have to worry about passing classes. There is so much stuff in college that can get you off-track. I feel like I chose the right path.?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also a big mention of Inman in BA's Daily Dish (free portion)


BA Will Inman article


There's a pic of Will on BA's home page right now.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Power has a guardian Angel in its clubhouse

Jack Bogaczyk

Daily Mail Sports Editor


West Virginia Power catcher Angel Salome is a guardian in more than his given name.


Robert Wooley took the loss Saturday night for the Power. OK, but the right-hander already had a big save.


In this era of the big league ballplayer with salaries on steroids, it's easy to forget that in the low minors, life can be a struggle -- especially so if you're trying to play a familiar game in a foreign land.


So, a sunny Easter morning was a good time to discuss a different kind of baseball sacrifice -- if you're scoring at home.


When the Power players arrived in Charleston from Milwaukee's minor league spring training, pitchers Ronny Malave of Venezeula and Dominicans Wilfrido Laureano and Rafael Lluberes had $240 ... combined.


They needed a place to live. They needed bedding. They needed food. They needed, well, their teammates.


"They don't speak the (English) language very well," Salome said before Sunday's game at Appalachian Power Park. "They had enough money to maybe buy some milk, juice, food, but how were they going to live?"


Compounding the issue was the fact that Brewer farmhands are paid twice a month during the season -- and the first Power checks didn't come until Saturday.


Salome, born in the Dominican Republic but a New York resident since before he went to grade school, paid about $1,000 for rent and a security deposit on a Dunbar apartment and a grocery-store trip for him and the Power's Latin trio.


Then, Salome went to second baseman Kenny Holmberg, and asked him to spread the word through the clubhouse that the three players needed help.


The Floridian became the team's primary fund-raiser.


"Holm' asked them for whatever they could give," Salome said. "One of the coaches pitched in $20, I know. Some guys gave $10. Some gave $2, I think. Maybe somebody could only give a quarter. Doesn't matter.


"They needed help -- and remember, the guys contributing hadn't gotten paid yet, either. Holm' did a great, great job. We ended up with $180. I gave $60 to each of the three guys."


Wooley said Salome "is absolutely like a dad for those (Latin) guys. He does so much for them. He makes sure they get where they need to go."


Well, it turns out Wooley played no small role in the Power's establishment of 2006 residency in the Kanawha Valley also. The right-hander's Sierra truck became one of the main modes of transportation for the newcomers.


That bedding you perhaps saw flying onto the westbound roadway near the junction of I-77 and 64 on April 6? Yes, it was wild ... and Wooley.


"I look in the rearview mirror and, I'm thinking, ?Oh, my God, we're going to lose everything,' and there are three semis on the one side of me," Wooley said. "We had beds and furniture for seven guys on there -- two apartments, Angel's, and one I live in."


Wooley was moving the Power season-loaner beds to Dunbar. Two flew off onto the road, causing one tractor trailer to end up "with tires that were smoking and smelling," Wooley said. "I was going 65-70 (mph) in the fast lane with the hazard lights on ... We're lucky more stuff didn't fly out."


Then, how to retrieve the bedding? Wooley, Salome and teammate Nate Yoho decided to dodge vehicles on the interstate to chase mattresses.


"Thank God they kind of came off toward the side," Salome said. "That traffic was flying. I've got to admit, it was kind of scary out there."


Salome said Wooley, who pitched here much of last season, "is one of the main guys in all of this."


Wooley's parents, Ted and Teresa, visiting from Indiana, also moved furniture and donated $50 to the Latin players' cause, their son said.


"They drove us to the field, too, those first few days," the catcher added. "They're great people."


There obviously are a good number of those also in the Power clubhouse, where it's been proven there is no "i," but there are $$$, in team.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Link while active, text follows:




Cain not out in left field

Jacob Messer

Charleston Daily Mail sportswriter


Looking at West Virginia Power outfielder Lorenzo Cain, it is difficult to assess what part of his body will be the most important in his development.


It could be his strong legs, which carry him around the bases and through the outfield faster than many of his teammates and peers. It could be his powerful arms, which help him swing the bat as quickly as he does. It could be his wiry frame, which has the potential to carry additional weight and turn him into a power hitter.


So, which one is it? Perhaps none of the above.


Some coaches and experts think it could be the combination of his ears and his mind.


Consider this: With help from his coaches, Cain eliminated an exaggerated leg kick that he had when he joined the organization. It was affecting his timing.


That change helped him hit .356 with five homers, five triples, 18 doubles, 37 RBI and 45 runs in 50 games last season in the Arizona Summer League, where he "proved both willing to listen and able to take what he had learned and apply it quickly," according to the 2006 Baseball America Prospect Handbook.


That advantageous attribute stems from his baseball background.


"Just shut your mouth and listen to what people have to say," said Cain, a Tallahassee Community College product from Madison, Fla. "My high school coaches always taught me that."


Baseball America called the 6-foot-2, 183-pound Cain, a draft-and-follow pick whom the Milwaukee Brewers selected in the 17th round two years ago, the eighth-best prospect from that league.


"It was a boost for me," Cain said of his instructional league success, which included an All-Star selection and the Most Valuable Player award. "It made me feel like I could play with these guys."


Only three years removed from high school, the 20-year-old Cain still is a rookie in terms of knowledge and experience, despite the fact this season is his second in professional baseball.


Manager Mike Guerrero calls him "raw" and raves about his "potential." He is "as green as grass," hitting coach Mike Lum says.


"He is just starting," said Guerrero, who also was his manager in Arizona last year. "We haven't seen the best of Lorenzo Cain."


Cain was 4-for-7 on Thursday when West Virginia (9-11) split a doubleheader with Greensboro (11-10). He was 3-for-4 in the first game -- a 5-4 Power loss -- and 1-for-3 in the second game -- a 6-2 Power win.


He owns a .337 batting average, second on the team, and 28 hits, second in the league. Cain has driven in seven runs and has scored 10.


His solid start is the result of "just being poised and staying focused," he said.


The more Cain plays, the more he will improve, according to coaches and experts such as former Cincinnati Reds general manager Dan O'Brien.


"He is an extremely talented and athletic player who just needs playing time," said O'Brien, who works for the Brewers as a special assistant to the general manager and was in Charleston this week to scout the Power.


"When you work with kids at this level, you don't have a finished product," added Lum, who praised Cain for his ability to lay off bad pitches -- a common problem for young hitters -- but noted he needs to work on swinging through the ball with both hands rather than letting his top hand cut off his swing. "He needs a lot of at-bats under his belt."


O'Brien said Cain, whom Guerrero noted often shows up seven hours before a game to take extra cuts in the batting cage, has Major League potential.


"He has a chance, in time, to be a rare combination of speed and power," O'Brien said.


One possible disadvantage for Cain is the Brewers' abundance of talent at his position. Of their top 30 minor league prospects, nine are outfielders, according to Baseball America. The publication calls Cain the third-best left fielder and 27th-best overall player in their farm system.


That could mean a slow climb for Cain, one in which he spends full seasons at each stop. But he isn't worried.


"I just want to get better and move up," said Cain, whom coaches and experts say needs to improve his base running and fielding. "The quicker, the better."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link while active, text follows:




Power players relax on off day in a different way

Jacob Messer

Charleston Daily Mail sportswriter


Dave Welch apparently can shoot paintballs as accurately as he can throw baseballs.


Just ask his West Virginia Power teammates, some of whom painfully learned that lesson Monday.


Welch and fellow pitchers Matt Kretzschmar, Brandon Parillo, Dane Renkert and Joe Thatcher joined second baseman Michael Bell, shortstop Ryan Crew, third baseman Mat Gamel, catcher Brad Willcutt, outfielder Nate Yoho, first baseman Ned Yost and strength coach Tom Reynolds at Scary Creek Paintball in Scott Depot for some friendly competition on their off day.


Weather permitting, West Virginia will return to action today when it begins a six-game homestand against Lexington at Appalachian Power Park.


The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (6:05 Central).


According to him and his teammates, Welch was bringing the heat Monday.


"I was tearing it up," Welch said.


"He pretty much defeated the position players singlehandedly," Gamel added. "He was probably the best of the bunch."


Who was the worst? Renkert.


"He struggled," Welch said with a laugh. "Every time I looked up, he was walking to the safe room with his gun in the air and paint all over him."


And then there was Crew, whom Gamel called "a pretty boy."


"Every time he got shot," Welch said, "he screamed like a little girl."


Crew denied those accusations.


"They are just picking on me," Crew said. "Gamel didn't know what he was doing. He was confused all day. I can't say anything bad about Welch. He was good. But I took him out in the last game. So, I got the last laugh."


Welch said the shot of the day belonged to Yost, who set the tone in the opening game when he blasted Bell in the back of the head execution style.


"It was on after that," Welch said.


The day off gave the players a chance to "get away from baseball."


"That," Crew said, "was what we needed. When we have a day off, we like to do things as a team. We enjoy it. We like to have fun and relax. Next time we might go bowling or golfing. Doing stuff like that builds chemistry."


"We had a lot of fun," Welch added. "I can't wait to do it again."

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Brewer Fanatic Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premier Brewers community on the internet. Included with caretaking is ad-free browsing of Brewer Fanatic.

  • Create New...